When it comes to Google and other search engines, local SEO – or search engine optimization – has become more and more important. Hotel marketing isn’t as much about the hotel itself; it’s about the experiences that staying at that hotel can offer.
With that in mind, here are six tips to help you leverage your local SEO to get and be first for the search query “hotels in <your city>.”
1. Be a local one-stop shop
Who says you have to use your entire website to promote your hotel? Develop pages that give information about your local area – restaurants, attractions, a calendar of local events, weather, and maybe even flight information from the nearest airport. A traveler may just search for your town, and having a lot of local info available on your site will draw visitors and keep them on your site – which increases the chances of getting a booking. Make sure to mention your city or key landmark as often as reasonable.
A traveler may just search for your town, and having a lot of local info available on your site will draw visitors and keep them on your site – which increases the chances of getting a booking. Make sure to mention your city or key landmark as often as reasonable.
2: Be a local partner to boost SEO
In relation to the first tip, you would develop a partnership with those in your backyard. Be it a local attraction, a rental-car company, or an airline to develop tourism or travel packages for those who book your hotel. The links to your site will strengthen your organic results slowly but surely.
3. Get mobile
Once you have your partnerships and your special packages in place, develop a mobile app that allows users to book tours, reserve a room at your hotel, make restaurant reservations, or other details for a trip. Don’t have the bandwidth or budget to hire someone to build the app? Your partners may be able to embed links to your property so you can still reap the benefits of referrals from mobile.
4. Get Google-y
Creating a Google+ Local page and getting your business listed on Google Maps. Making sure you’ve covered your Google bases will help your rankings and visibility.
Do you do any hotel advertising? Create Google AdWords campaigns with landing pages geared toward particular travelers in your local area. This will do wonders for your rankings as well.
5. Tag, you’re it
Tags are the lifeblood of most SEO initiatives, right alongside local keywords.
Whether you are applying meta tags on a website page, a photo, an embedded video, or using #tags on social media accounts, including your hotel name and local area in your various tags will make you more relevant to the web search crawlers that are looking for you. Tags make it easier for you to be found, and the more localized you are, the better!
6. Review, review, review
Whether you use Yelp, TripAdvisor, or other review tools, customer feedback is a powerful tool to boost local SEO rankings. Encourage customer hotel reviews, and make sure to moderate and review them regularly.
Negative reviews can affect your reputation. Don’t delete them. But do make sure to make contact with the customer and address all reviews promptly. A personal message from your manager goes a long way toward improving your reviews and your reputation.
Google Search is powerful, and getting on the first page of search results can be the difference between your hotel thriving and being left in the dust by your competitors. Get immersed in local SEO by getting immersed in your community. Find local partners to assist in marketing your property through the lens of the experience that your hometown provides to travelers. Do this and you’ll build a solid search reputation that will set you apart.